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Erste Group grows significantly at the start of the year

At the beginning of the year, Austria’s largest financial institution, Erste Group, made strong operational gains while risk costs remained low. The operating result rose in the first quarter by more than half to 1.26 billion euros after 801.0 million euros, as the institute, which is mainly active in Eastern Europe in addition to the home market, announced on Friday. All in all, profit climbed by around a third to EUR 593.6 (448.8) million. The bank is thus above the expectations of analysts, who had expected an average net profit of 543.0 million euros.

Net interest income increased by 27.1 percent to EUR 1.77 billion. The bank explained that this was due to the generally favorable development of interest rates and a strong customer loan volume. Thanks to growth in payment transactions and the securities business, net commission income improved by 4.4 percent to EUR 642.7 million. The trading result rose to 117 million euros, after a loss of 257 million euros in the same period last year. The proportion of bad loans (NPL ratio) increased slightly to 2.1 percent after 2.0 percent at the end of the year. The Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio fell to 14.0 percent from 14.2 percent at the end of the year.

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